Nine days ago, Oklahoma City Thunder general manager Sam Presti sat in a small room around midnight with a smaller-than-usual number of reporters in front of him. The Thunder had just selected Terrance Ferguson with the 21st overall pick, and Presti rattled off the usual bevy of compliments for the young player. But there was a decided lack of energy in the room, and Presti didn’t carry his usual edge and sharpness.
The feeling among many around the organization post-draft was disappointment, an air of “that’s it?” with only a single selection, one who was viewed as a project. With Russell Westbrook set to win the MVP a few days later and an upcoming decision to make on committing to the franchise for the next five seasons, the Thunder didn’t have much apparent momentum.